A WEARSIDER caught up in the Japanese earthquake says he is willing to help with the relief effort in the country.
James Pounder, 24, from Houghton, has been working as a English teacher in Tokyo for the past few months.
As reported in the Echo last week, former Houghton Kepier School pupil Mr Pounder was in an office building when the disaster struck.
The confirmed death toll from Friday’s 9.0 magnitude quake, which then triggered a devastating tsunami, has risen above 5,000.
Mr Pounder has told his family in Sunderland that he won’t put himself in danger if he manages to get to the areas most affected.
He said: “Generally, people (in Tokyo) are getting on with their lives as best they can.
“I know of many people, foreigners and Japanese, who, like myself, are itching to get up north when the situation calms down in order to help those who took the brunt of the earthquake and tsunami.”